Friday, October 28, 2011

New York Pub Crawls -- Part III -- The Ginger Man

Next it was time to visit The Ginger Man. The Ginger Man is very close by to my previous stop and had a similarly electric buzz going on. The noise level was similar but was driven more by animated conversations than any football fandom or strumming strings. No live music but many lively people.

The d├ęcor here was much different. Contrast Rattle N’ Hum’s DIY collage/homage to everything beer to The Ginger Man’s dark woods, framed beer posters and the ginger-orange glow of its bartop lamps. That’s right—bartop lamps. Very cool.

They have an impressive set of taps to match their bottle list. There were many temptations but this time I was piqued by the possibilities from Japan. The only craft beer from Japan available in Canada is the line of Hitachino products so I jumped at the chance to try some Baird’s. They had a porter on offer, perfect to stand up to the strong fare I had been drinking previously (see part II)

Smells shaprly grape-y/vinous but the beer is very smooth and mellow. Not overly heavy. Rich in the middle and the finish, especially. The beer looks opaque and black but reveals itself as a having a deep garnet colour under a bit of light. The head is thin and carbonation low. The beer is sharp at first but settles into an inviting and seductive drink.

The Japanese Stout really holds together as a well-balanced slow-sipper. It is mellow and more-ish. It give me plenty of time to melt into my seat. I am tired and quite buzzed. This is no time for beers that will be drunk so quickly as to practically evaporate out of the glass.  

Overall, I would score it as 'Very Nice'.

Sean is my bartender and is curious about Canadian beers (especially the scene in Quebec). I hand him a business card of a French-Canadian beer rep that is still in my pocket for some reason (I picked it up over a week prior). Stephanie is a friendly and chatty server. We talk about my upcoming adventures to Argentina and she offers the sage advice for digging up quality beer: “follow the Germans”.

Stephanie, if you are reading this, so far your advice has worked out fairly well for me down here. I believe I owe you a drink.

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